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ArmyofOne

Went Car Shopping For The Wife Today

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and well, it did not go well. We really arent interested in a used car this time. Wifey wants new and I learned a long time ago that if she is happy, I am happy.

So the criteria was:

-No more than 72 months financing, at no more than 5% interest.

-Had to be new, or close enough it doesnt matter.

-Had to be a small-midsized SUV/Crossover.

-AWD a must

-prefer 30mpg freeway or as close to it as possible for long trips.

-needed to be well equipped, not nessecarily loaded.

-Wants a sunroof/moonroof, but not a dealbreaker.

-NOTHING resembling, looking like or even trying to be a station wagon (e.g. Subaru)

SO immediately the market segment flooded my mind, TONS of stuff for less than 25K that would fit our budget no problem. Well you would think at least...

First stop was Lexus, of course. Just for ****s and giggles, I really didnt expect to find anything new on the lexus lot to meet our financing criteria. Their used lot was slim pickin's as well, everything having more than 30k on it already, and even though they were CPO, wifey wanted less than 10k miles. So...NEXT!

Across the street to Tacoma Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep. They offered to buy back my truck for $25,000, and put me in a brand new Hemi model, which put the payment right into our budget range;):P:D...but...we would still only have one vehicle. So that was a no-go much to my displeasure, however, I like my truck and am content. So we looked at the new durango's instead. A little bit too big for her liking, but she said she could deal. But my wallet could not. Equipped like we (She) :D wanted it, tag came out to $36,800. No smoke and mirrors, they were honest...$640 a month for 72 months? no thanks. They had some Jeep Patriot's, Compass's and other things there that were in our price range new, but nothing was really calling to me, or her. Too spaceship looking, to this, to that, wrong color. But they were honest with us from the start, which means Chrysler is indeed heading in ALL of the right directions. They will continue to receive my business from that particular dealership.

Toyota, Rav4's, love them, but just SLIGHTLY out of budget new. And she hated the colors, they had alot of white/black/tan ones, one green one and a grey one, and the grey and green ones were BASIC as they come.

So off we go to hyundai, slim pickins here...hyundai dealership was SOLD THE HELL OUT. I kid you not, they had not one car on the lot except for a new Genesis sedan. I asked them what happened, they said they had a huge sale and we just missed it. Burn. NEXT!

On to Honda. Wife loves the CRV, but for some reason the salesman is a pushy moron. Turned us right off, so we left.

Tried Ford, they didnt have ANY 4wd escapes new. They had one used one, an 08 with 30k, and it was LOADED. But they wanted 28k for it. Not paying that, at all, ever. She hates the Flex, and the new Explorer is still too spendy. Looked for an Edge...they didnt have one. Not one.

So Finally, with much hesitation on my part, we made our way to a KIA dealership (you know, Killed In Action :D)

They wanted to put her in a 2011 Sorento EX with the 2.4L and AWD. Cool, no navigation, but did have bluetooth and ipod connection. No sunroof, but had AWD, decent (not great) fuel economy) and that AWESOME warranty. They initially wanted 24k. Then we talked numbers. This is where it gets hilarious.

Somehow, someway they came up with $478/month, 31k OTD and 7% interest at NINETY-SIX MONTHS!!!!! I was FLOORED. On my (nearly) perfect credit score?! I am like a few points shy of perfect at all 3 agency's! Can they even do that? Thats a damned mortgage for cryin' out loud! Needless to say I walked away and that was that. So basically, they wanted to rape me for 8 years for a car that doesnt even have everything the customer (my wife) wants. It wasnt a total loss, I got to drive the new turbo Kia Optima...man what a dream. I did things in that car that should only be done in an Evo or Sti...

Anyway, moral of the story is:

Woman' date=' Make up yo damned mind![/quote']

And watch your local dealership very carefully, ESPECIALLY a KIA dealership.:D

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First hope you are in a Credit union, they will give you the best interest. Maybe look for a LEXUS RX400h hybrid...might find one for $25k with lots of miles...She would fall in love with it...

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My advice would be not to negotiate on the payments. You should get the sales price down to where you can get it down to, then talk payments. The payments are going to be what the payments are going to be. When you negotiate based on the payments you're always going to wind up spending more than you would otherwise.

I also wouldn't worry about colors and such, you can find the right color just concentrate on finding the vehicle that works out right.

have you looked at the new Jeep Grand Cherokee?

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I agree with SW on the negotiating on payment mistake. Too many variables at play to make that a wise move. That being said, I always finance my cars through USAA bank, which I know you're a member of too. And I "size" my buy based on a $300 +/- payment ceiling, so I back into my purchase amount, similiar to what you're doing. But, I do it before I go to the dealer via USAA "cash buyer" program. I know the rate, I know the term, I know the amount, which leaves but just one question, the car. I may pay an extra .125% more in rate, but the ability to walk into a dealership with a USAA Bank Cashier's check in my pocket, has always given me the advantage to negotiate heavier on price, which makes up for that rate difference. I buy used, finance for 6 years. Used on the 6 year run, keeps the value in-check with the balance. I'm not a big believer in having equity in a depreciating asset though. Only vehicle I've ever seen to create equity for me is our 4runner. But this ONLY works on used cars. Financing 6 years on a new car, and you're almost certain to be flipped-over for the first couple of years.

You're a "car guy". You love cars, and I get the feeling you get the itch every three or so years. I strongly suggest ditching the new car avenue, and go for the CPO route instead. You get a car that has been reconditioned in many areas back to new, you get the new car warranty coverage (depending on brand), and you avoid that new car depreciation hit. But, I'm not telling you anything that hasn't been debated on here several times before....you know what you're doing!

That being said: I wouldn't shy away from VW. You mentioned you love the GTI's, and you need AWD. The Tiquan is both. It's built on the Golf platform. Basically, a GTI with a lift and monster tires. I have to say, in all unbiased honesty, I absolutely love my GTI. The CPO warranty has been fantastic when needed. Nothing has "broken", but a window motor was making a funny noise, so they replaced it. The stereo knob had a nasty deep scratch in it...didn't think they would do anything about it....but they replaced the entire radio. Stuff like that. It's held up to these roads extremely well (minus a bent rim or two from pot holes, user error). I wouldn't worry too much about the engine in the Tiguan either. It has the new TSI engine, which has replaced the FSI engine that has been used for the past 5 years across the VW/Audi platform. Basically, VW/Audi took the wildly popular FSI engine, and just made a few key improvements that were needed. For instance, moved the air filter to a more user friendly area to change. Updated a part called a cam-follower in the high-pressure fuel pump. Upgraded the pison rings, the pcv value, stuff like that. Folks were complaining about these areas. But, what I've found, is the majority of folks who've complained about these parts, are the ones who have "chipped" their engines, and messed with the exhaust, and suspension. 200hp out of a 2.0 engine is strung high enough, in my opinion. Putting in a "chip" to get 260hp, is just asking for trouble. Their so light anyway, that on a damp morning, I can't put my foot down beyond 50% until 3rd gear, otherwise the tires spin and trac control kicks in. Great MPG, fantastically fun turbo, super sexy exhaust note, and just an overall champ performer. The car below, beyond what you can see in the pictures, most likely also has an ipod connector in the arm rest, a/c cooled glove box, xion headlights, and I can't tell, but if it has paddle shifters on the steering wheel, then it has their awesome DSG transmission. If not, it still has the triptronic on the lever, just not the dual clutch gear box. I believe it also as the blue-tooth as well, with the mic around the sunroof control.

Seriously....before buying, just go check one out. I think you'll be impressed.

http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listingId=50713286&listingRecNum=4&criteria=sf1Dir%3DDESC%26mkId%3D20089%26stkTyp%3DU%26mdId%3D22265%26rd%3D500%26crSrtFlds%3DstkTypId-feedSegId-mkId-mdId%26zc%3D98107%26rn%3D0%26PMmt%3D1-1-0%26stkTypId%3D28881%26sf2Dir%3DASC%26sf1Nm%3Dprice%26sf2Nm%3Dmiles%26rpp%3D50%26feedSegId%3D28705&aff=national

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As two wise men: :whistles: have already said don't negotiate payments...ever. Know what you need to get the purchase price around to fit the payment you are looking for. Know what the terms of the loan will be before you ever-even step on the lot. Negotiate like you are going to flat out buy the car and just tell them you will worry about the financing later...you may use your own financing or you may use them depending on their rates.

It is easy to use an auto payment calculator to figure out what you can afford to spend.

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And always walk away from a deal that doesnt meet that criteria...They will call, I promise...and meet your terms...Frankly go through the internet salesman and avoid the pain...They have given me the best deal ever twice. Dont fall in love, and get burned, tomorrow is another day against them, not you.

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I would still stay away from KIA. Their cars and trucks still can lose up to 65% of their value in just 5 years. That's way above the segment average. As for the Dodge Durango, my advise is to wait atleast another year, maybe two. I know someone who bought one and they are having some of the strangest problems I've ever seen. For example, the entire nav/radio/ac/ central command center shuts off when ever he makes a left turn. It took them 5 visits and weeks of having it to finally fix it. (We think it's fixed at this point.) The driver seat developed a bad creak when you first sit in it, and then the power adjustment motor stopped working. He has an appointment to get that fixed, but in the mean time the driver seat won't move and it's almost all the way back because it stopped working when he was trying to find the cause for the creak. LOL!! I really think Dodge just needs more time to get the "new" Dodge going first. I feel the same way about the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Let's see what the maintenance and problematic issues are first. Besides, I live by the rule, never, never, never, never, ever buy a first year model. Especially from a car mfgr. that has gone thru as many changes in such a short time as Dodge/Jeep .

One of the biggest factors I looked at when buying new cars and trucks is the total cost of ownership over the 5 year period. You will be amazed what you think is a good price on a vehicle is actually not. Let's take the Kia Sportage. The Kia will cost around $17K-$24K on the invoice, but the total cost of ownership, ( insurance, fuel, maintenance, etc. etc.) is an average $38K ! over the 5 year ownership. By contrast, last year's Motor Trend "Sport Utility of the Year," the Subaru Forester is more expensive than the Sportage, but in the long run, will cost less. Its TCO starts at just $30K and earns the Subaru an "Above Average" rating from IntelliChoice. Yet the Forester offers more cargo space, sportier handling, and when it comes time to replace it, much higher resale value than the Sportage. MSRP from $20,295 I know you said no Subaru's, but I'm just making a point here. High insurance costs and heavy depreciation are things you can't do anything about. The Honda CRV is one of the lowest TCO's, but I see Volkswagen, Toyota, and Subaru are the kings in this size SUV market. After that it's not even close. I see almost $8-$10K difference to the next levels. Honestly, the list of your needs and lifestyle scream Subaru, but the Honda/Toyota/VW would work well also.

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I know they scream subaru, but she hates how they look. I personally love them. She is so closed minded that she wont even test drive one.

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I really think Dodge just needs more time to get the "new" Dodge going first. I feel the same way about the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Let's see what the maintenance and problematic issues are first. Besides, I live by the rule, never, never, never, never, ever buy a first year model. Especially from a car mfgr. that has gone thru as many changes in such a short time as Dodge/Jeep .

Bear in mind though, the new Grand Cherokee was under development for a *long* time, the chassis is shared with your very own Mercedes ML, and Benz was heavily involved in the vehicle's development and production. Have you driven the new Grand Cherokee? Its a *nice* truck. If my wife would do it (I'm working on her) then I would trade the Prius in on a Grand Cherokee today. In fact, had it been out when I bought my Lexus...I might have even bought an Overland model for myself.

When you think about the value for money too, you can get a loaded Laredo X Package for $37k...compared to a Kia Sorrento for $36k...thats a no brainer IMHO.

Only downside is economy. With gas prices so high, it makes me sick to think about trading something that gets 50MPG in on something that gets 19, however much I may hate it.

You should try and find a Ford Edge to look at Josh, they are very nice and Ford has 4.9% for 60 months right now.

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Also to add to this, I know you guys are dealership hopping, but it's best to deal with the internet sales guy. When it comes to price negotiations (not PAYMENT negotiations, like what has been mentioned multiple times), your sales guy can tell you if they can go that low or not. It's a waste of time to just talk to any "vulcher" (those sales guys who are waiting outside of the dealership and quickly walk up to you even before you open the door of your car to get out) and deal the price with them. You will be the typical customer who sits there for hours and hours while they waste your time walking back and forth to their manager. I know of a sales guy who used to sell cars, and he honestly told me that they don't "talk or discuss" whether they will take your offer or not, they just sit in that office and chit chat while you get antsy and p*ssed off.

I know she wants a new, or slightly used car, but my $.02 is trying looking for an older model that she liked, one with low miles, good condition, and definitely in a good and depreciated price (let's say an RX330). If you have enough patience to be searching on the internet all the time, you can get an older car with low miles and still CPO'ed by Lexus or whatever brand you're looking at. I remember running across a CPO 2005 ES330 (1 owner, clean carfax) with 34,000miles for (if I remember correctly) $18,000.

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Since most salespeople like to talk payments instead of price I work out the payments beforehand so I know where I need to be. For example, I was looking at a C300, sticker was ~$43,500. Edmunds TMV said ~$41,000. They were offering $2k conquest cash for owners of competing vehicles which takes it to $39k. Add in tax $41,632. MB Financial was offering 2.9% for 60 mo. Throw that all in a payment calculator (http://www.planningtips.com/cgi-bin/simple.pl) and I end up with a payment shy of $750/mo. Now at this point I walk in, tell the sales guy I want to be at $750 for 60 months and not a penny more.

I've been doing research lately and it seems that many auto makers are offering excellent financing right now, at least some of the luxury makers. Infiniti's all have 1.9 to 2.9% for 60 mo, MB has 2.9% for 60 mo on most models and if you can find one Hyundai has good rates on most cars. IMHO the Tucson fits your requirements very well and they have 3.9% for 60 mo right now.

So off we go to hyundai, slim pickins here...hyundai dealership was SOLD THE HELL OUT. I kid you not, they had not one car on the lot except for a new Genesis sedan.

Hyundai is a weird one... a friend of mine works at a local Hyundai dealer and it's not unusual for a salesman to push 35-40 cars/month and they usually have 150-200 new cars on the lot, even in a small market like Toledo. I was always shocked at the amount of inventory but I guess they need it!

They wanted to put her in a 2011 Sorento EX with the 2.4L and AWD. Cool, no navigation, but did have bluetooth and ipod connection. No sunroof, but had AWD, decent (not great) fuel economy) and that AWESOME warranty. They initially wanted 24k. Then we talked numbers. This is where it gets hilarious.

Somehow, someway they came up with $478/month, 31k OTD and 7% interest at NINETY-SIX MONTHS!!!!! I was FLOORED. On my (nearly) perfect credit score?! I am like a few points shy of perfect at all 3 agency's! Can they even do that? Thats a damned mortgage for cryin' out loud! Needless to say I walked away and that was that. So basically, they wanted to rape me for 8 years for a car that doesnt even have everything the customer (my wife) wants.

WHAT! I didn't even know they would finance a car for 8 years!?!? All Kia dealers seem really shady to me....

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Well I finally have her sold on...well...you are never gonna guess.

A Lexus RX450h. The only catch is, to get the lexus, I HAVE to trade in the truck. I need the positive equity for a down payment. I have 20k in positive equity. That is, if they give me 20K trade for the Ram, they could put me in a brand new RXh, and my payment would be ~$450 a month. There are several issues with this:

-Back to square one, with one car. I am looking for a SUPPLEMENT to my truck, not a replacement.

-Would effectively WIPE OUT my savings to purchase a second car.

-the RXh would have to be outstandingly reliable with a rediculous warranty, since I have NO knowledge of hybrids and their inner workings, whatsoever.

-Services on the RXh are prohibitively expensive, more than even the maintenance hungry Ram. Not to mention the Ram is more forgiving if you miss one. If you miss one or 2 on an RXh, not only do you kill your resale value, but you couldend up with a $7,500 repair bill, or more.

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If your goal is to have two vehicles, trading the Ram in on an RXh would be foolish, because that need isn't going to go away. Plus you're going to get killed on the Ram from a depreciation standpoint.

he RXh would have to be outstandingly reliable with a rediculous warranty, since I have NO knowledge of hybrids and their inner workings, whatsoever.

I've had a hybrid for 7 years and 80k miles...no issues. The hybrid system is under warranty for 7 years or 100k miles.

Services on the RXh are prohibitively expensive

Only if you use the dealer. If you use an independent shop its just like any other car, cheaper actually because of the regenerative braking the service brakes last 3-4 times as long as a normal car.

If you miss one or 2 on an RXh, not only do you kill your resale value, but you couldend up with a $7,500 repair bill, or more.

Not really...using synthetic oil I think the oil change intervals are 10k miles now. Just get the oil changed every 10k miles...

If anything hybrids are more forgiving if you miss a service because the ICE engine doesn't log as many hours.

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Yeah, I don't see how any of that solves any of your issues. I'm just one of those that likes to sleep at night and not have to stress over bills and mounting debt. Have your thought about doing a double dinger? Like taking the Ram in to the Dodge dealership and trading for her a Dodge AWD Journey, and you another truck or SUV? MAybe get them both 1 or 2 years CPO ?

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I have thought about that smooth, but I really like the 09 ram. I would consider anything older than an 09 ram a downgrade. It runs good, does pretty decent on gas, I am not really needing to trade it in. But she wants an SUV, and if I could I would really rather her have a hybrid one. I think we are going to keep what we have for now, when I come back from the sandbox, we will have some money saved, I could prolly buy an 06-08 RXh cash. Since the truck is paid for, I really REALLY hate to go back to a payment. I am digging putting the $450 a month back into my own savings, rather than paying a bank.

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....I walk in, tell the sales guy I want to be at $750 for 60 months and not a penny more.

Just my own personal comments on this one, nothing more, nothing less...... I would vomit in my Cheerios once a month if I had to spend $750 on a single car! I have two excellent cars that cost me less that 75% of that amount.

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NC, I agree. My limit on a Vehicle payment is $350 a month for a car, $450 a month for a truck/SUV. Would never pay anything higher, not because I cant, but because I refuse to. Thats 2, almost 3 car payments in my world...or...my monthly gas budget LOL!

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I guess things just need to be put in perspective. The monthy payment on a car is what it is...someone making 30k a year with a payment of $750 a month is one thing...someone making six figures...not that big of deal. Also there are many people that can flat out pay cash for the car if they want to but choose to use the banks money instead since the rates are so low.

My payments on my GX are over $900. That was with paying $8k down and tier one credit for financing. My corperation is paying the payments and the interest is written off... But to be honest financing it for 5 years it isn't that big of a deal...even at 0% payments would be $866 a month. But what I see is a larger problem is financing cars for 6-8 years. This is where you will get upside down quick on a car if you are not careful...one thing to toss a bunch of money down and stretch the payments but if you need to go 6+ years to afford the car...move on and find another car. I still have a $4,000 loan on the X5 at .9% that I could stroke a check and pay it off but why? .9%??? Just my 2 Cents!

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Yeah, but Lexi, there is a bit more "motivation" for a $900/Mnth payment on a heavy SUV when you're an S-Corp. You've been talking with your accountant haven't cha'... B)

In the business banking world, the "Decemeber to Remember" slogan tends to trigger a date to the business owner....A date in April of the coming year.. :rolleyes:

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